Why “fellowship”?

MJ Ray mjr at phonecoop.coop
Tue Jan 10 21:38:26 UTC 2012

Matthias Kirschner <mk at fsfe.org>
> * MJ Ray <mjr at phonecoop.coop> [2012-01-05 14:36:57 +0000]:
> > That seems rather opaque and neither democratic nor do-ocratic.  As
> > you may remember, I stopped volunteering when that approach did not
> > produce proper consideration of putting any FSFE web pages under a
> > free software licence.
> (It does not make sense to talk about "democratic" when you talk about
> organisations. It just makes sense for states. For organisations we
> should talk about participation, transperency, decision making, etc.)

As one may expect from a supporter of ICA.coop/coop/principles.html
and other democracy campaigns, I disagree with that parenthesis
completely. People who want us to ask for lesser words instead of
democracy are similar to those who want us to ask about lesser
aspects like "open source" instead of freedoms, so I am really
surprised and disappointed to see it from such a leading light in FSFE.

I feel it is as important that users control our corporations as it is
that users control our computers.

> Your input about the license of the FSFE was considered (at least by
> me). But a lot of people at that time did not agree with it. That can
> also happen in organisations where all members vote on a proposal.

I don't recall that consideration and did not find it in the archives.
I suspect it was based on the usual objection, that the freedoms
would help those that oppose us, more than they'd help our supporters.

Yes, mistakes can happen in democratic organisations, but then you
have both open discussion in a known consideration process and a more
informative outcome (even if that information is sometimes difficult
to interpret).

> I still think it was bad that you stopped your involvement, because of
> this.

Why?  Once I had realised that I am merely a fellow traveller and
actively disagree with this aspect of FSFE policy and tactics, I felt
it better to transfer my involvement to other free software support
organisations that I feel are more likely to succeed in the long term.
After all, why would anyone continue to give to an organisation which
they feel undermines its own campaigns?

If I'm right, FSFE undermines itself more slowly without my help but
there's more chance another free software supporter will succeed and
convince it to free its material before it dies.  If I'm wrong, the
world still had the same number of volunteers supporting free software
and we lost mainly a bit of friction along the way.

MJ Ray (slef), member of www.software.coop, a for-more-than-profit co-op.
http://koha-community.org supporter, web and library systems developer.
In My Opinion Only: see http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html
Available for hire (including development) at http://www.software.coop/

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